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A Lovelorn Kiszka: A Devil Under the Skin

A Devil Under the SkinA Devil Under the Skin by Anya Lipska

The third Kiszka and Kershaw crime thriller: Things are looking up for Janusz Kiszka, big-hearted ‘fixer’ to London’s Poles. His girlfriend/the love of his life, Kasia, is finally leaving her no-good husband to make a new life with him. Then Kasia vanishes. Convinced she’s been abducted, Kiszka must swallow his pride and seek the help of an old contact – maverick cop Natalie Kershaw. But the search swiftly takes an even darker turn…What connects Kasia’s disappearance and a string of brutal East End murders? 

First Impressions: As with the previous two books in the series I was draw in right from the start… Compelling reading!

Highlights: I don’t want this review to sound like a re-hash of previous reviews but I really like the way that Kiszka and Kershaw are brought together to solve the crime. It’s not a sigh of ‘here we go again for the double act…’.  Time has passed and it is all believable, not in any way forced.
This novel is another page turner from Lipska with perhaps less of an Eastern Euro geographical focus but this East End focus didn’t make it less interesting. Maybe I need to spend a day travelling the Central Line! I liked Kiszka’s insurance fraud investigation too, by the way, and I wasn’t too upset that Kershaw’s personal life took a back seat in this novel either. She is more interesting when at work! As well as absolutely loving the cover art on these novels I also enjoyed the extra material at the end of this novel. I now know how to pronounce ‘Kasia’!

If I was an editor: C’mon Kiszka, come investigating South of the River sometime… I hear SW has a large Polish population 🙂

Overall: And when is the next one being published?

A Devil Under the Skin: 5 stars

 

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Perfect Scandi Crime: The Redeemer

The Redeemer: A Harry Hole Thriller (Oslo Sequence 4)The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

Picking up where I left off with this series pre-pregnancy…
(Well, I actually read The Snowman out of sequence while pregnant, I just wasn’t thinking…)

A Harry Hole Novel: On a freezing December night Christmas shoppers have gathered to listen to a Salvation Army carol concert. A shot rings out and one of the singers is dead. There is no immediate suspect, no weapon and no motive. But when the assassin discovers he’s shot the wrong man, Harry finds his troubles have only just begun.

First Impressions: The series is just as good as I remember. Why did I take so long to get back into it?

Highlights: Who doesn’t adore Harry Hole? Confident but frail, his very subtle dark humour continues to entertain me. In this novel I loved the complex layers of the Salvation Army that shadow the investigation. I also like how Nesbo involves different nationalities and histories in his novels. It is very European: despite their differences, all countries share a past, present and future.

If I was an editor: I would beg Nesbo to keep the Harry Hole novels coming. I have The Leopard, the next one in the sequence, ready to go.

Overall: More Oslo perfection.

The Redeemer: 5 Stars

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The 8.30am from Warsaw: Where the Devil Can’t Go

Where the Devil Can't GoWhere the Devil Can’t Go by Anya Lipska

The first Kiszka and Kershaw novel: A naked girls has washed up on to the banks of the River Thames. The only clue to her identity is a home made tattoo with two foreign names and a love heart. Janusz Kiszka has lived in London for 20 years and is a ‘fixer’ in the Polish community. Little did he anticipate he would be accused of murder by Natalie Kershaw, an ambitious detective. Also being pursued by a dangerous criminal, Janusz travels back to Poland in the hope of discovering the identity of the killer.

First Impressions: This was a page turner from the very start! I was hooked with the everyday dealings of Janusz and the sort of things a fixer does; it’s not as notorious as it sounds!

Highlights: At first I worried at the sprinkling of Polish words: no glossary so would I need to google translate? Well, it turned out it was easy to work out the meaning of the Polish words and many of them weren’t as alien as I expected such the word psychol which always made me want to giggle. Janusz’s character was brilliant and completely believable. Kershaw was a good character too but she was always in the shadow of the Polish fixer. The links to Poland gave the novel huge amounts of depth and created the same atmosphere that a lot of Scandinavian crime novels achieve.

If I was an editor: I can’t think of anything to improve. It was a perfect page turner that had me reading it whenever I could. As crimes go, this was an interesting one to follow…

Overall: The next day I began the second Kiszka and Kershaw mystery. I can’t remember the last time I read two books by the same author back to back.

Where the Devil Can’t Go: 5 stars

Thank you to Harper Collins (The Friday Project) for a copy of the title to review.